Grammy winning Christian music veteran Steven Curtis Chapman is launching a new management company, Billboard has learned exclusively. Chapman is partnering with artist manager Mark Mattingly to introduce The Stable Collective, an entertainment-based firm that will handle management and brand development for Chapman’s career as well as sign new and established acts.
“I’m excited about this new venture with Mark,” Chapman tells Billboard. “[We will] start with just fully focusing on my brand and my body of work -- not only what’s there, but what’s coming. I want a period of time to strictly focus on that and once we feel we have a good handle on that, then we have the opportunity to bring other artists in.”
Chapman decided to launch the new company after changes at Creative Trust Inc., the Nashville-based firm where he’s been for nearly three decades. “Dan [Raines] and I began working together right about ’89, so about 28 years. It was hard to think about doing something separately, but they’ve been going through a lot of transitions for two or three years,” Chapman says referencing Creative Trust’s substantial growth in the literary and publishing space while pulling back in the music arena.
“Jim Houser left, [who was] my right hand guy, and that was a real big transition for me. Mark Mattingly who had been working under Jim took over Jim’s role. Dan closed down the music division of their management and just kept me on as an artist...so it’s been about a year to figure out what was going to be the best thing. Do I go to another management company? Do we try to formulate something?”
Chapman and Mattingly decided to launch their own venture. “It’s such an honor to partner with someone who is not only as accomplished as Steven is, but who is also one of the most well-respected people in our industry,” Mattingly says.
Though his career will be the initial focus of the new company, Chapman is excited about working with other artists, particularly mentoring newcomers. “I’m looking forward to the opportunity for us to grow that and bring in artists or other projects that I want to be involved in now that I’m further down the path and can speak into other careers like I did with Casting Crowns,” Chapman says, who helped steer the multi-platinum selling Georgia-based band.
Though he’s launching The Stable Collective, Chapman isn’t totally cutting ties with Raines and his team. He has nothing but praise for his longtime manager and will continue to utilize his skills. “Creative Trust is going to continue to be my business manager,” Chapman notes, “so I’m still very involved with Jeanie Kaserman and Dan on that side of things as they have been for so many years. That was a real blessing to keep that part intact.”
This year Chapman is celebrating 30 years in Christian music. He has won five Grammys, 58 Dove Awards, and an American Music Award. He’s chronicled his career and personal life in a new book, Between Heaven & the Real World: My Story. Penned with Ken Abraham, the book releases March 7 through Revell, a division of Baker Publishing.
Chapman admits at the outset it felt like a daunting task. “I take months, sometimes years, to write a 100 word song,” he says. “I pore over every line. Every word has to be right and here I am trying to write my whole life story. Where to even begin and how to connect the dots and what stories?”
He credits Abraham with helping him focus and pull it all together. In addition to sharing stories about his childhood in Paducah, KY, and his three decades in the music business, Chapman also delves into the tragedy of losing his five-year-old adopted daughter Maria Sue when she was accidentally struck by an SUV driven by her teenage brother in the family’s driveway. “I knew it was going to be hard and a part of me would rather not do that,” Chapman says of revisiting that tragic time in the new book. “But I also found a way for me to finally have the opportunity to really share it in real detail, not details of the accident, but details of that journey, of not only the intense unbearable sadness and pain, but the ways that God showed himself to be with us, the ways that there were friends who came around us and the ways that God reminded us that Maria was with Him. All of those stories are really hard to tell in a quick little interview.”
Chapman will be performing on the Grand Ole Opry this Saturday, March 4, and will sign copies of his new book in the Opry Shop. This spring he headlines the Rock & Worship Road Show Tour also featuring Francesca Battistelli, Jordan Feliz, Family Force 5, Passion, Rend Collective, Carlos Whittaker, Urban Rescue and Derek Minor.